Nutrition and Concussion

Good nutrition is important to maintain our mental and physical health. This is particularly important when recovering from physical trauma, such as a concussion. While much is still unknown about the exact relationship between nutrition and brain function, we do know that when a part of the body is injured, it needs specific nutrients to heal and make it better. The same is true for the brain.

When a concussion occurs, the brain requires extra energy (i.e., nutrition) as it works to heal the injury.

Tips for healthy nutrition after a concussion

With a concussion, your child’s appetite may decrease. Here is how you can help:

  • Offer small, frequent meals every two to three hours throughout the day, instead of three large meals.
  • Do not allow your child to skip meals, especially breakfast.
  • Provide power snacks, such as fruit, 100 percent fruit juice, smoothies and trail mix (dried fruit, nuts, dark chocolate).

Water makes up more than half of kids’ body weight and is needed to keep all parts of the body functioning properly. After a concussion, children will be more susceptible to dehydration, especially when they are just beginning to exercise again or when they are out in the hot sun or high humidity.

Tips for staying hydrated after a concussion

  • Offer a variety of fluids throughout the day – not just when your child is thirsty. There’s no specific amount of fluid recommended for children.
  • Add natural flavor if your child doesn’t like plain water, add a bit of lemon or lime.
  • Provide smoothies, fruits and veggies, which are good sources of fluid.